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Trees make city floors cooler in Central Europe

The importance of trees within cities has moved more into focus in recent years. Because researchers have discovered a whole range of advantages. One study even found that trees on the side of the road reduce the likelihood of depression among residents. The air quality also increases when there are many trees and green spaces in a city. There are also positive effects on the urban climate. These have basically been known for some time. Trees, for example, ensure that the temperatures in the city do not get too hot. This is of particular importance here because the concrete used can have the opposite effect. Researchers from the Zurich Federal Institute of Technology have now investigated how strong this cooling effect actually is. In doing so, they came up with considerable temperature differences.

An extremely strong cooling effect was demonstrated in Vienna

In total, the research team took a closer look at 293 European cities. Satellite images and the associated data were evaluated there. This enabled them to compare the temperature above the treetops with that on the ground. The astonishing result: The difference in Central Europe was sometimes more than ten degrees. In Vienna, for example, the soils are eleven degrees cooler in summer than in a comparable urban environment without trees. Most of the residents of Vienna should only partially notice this temperature difference. Because the researchers determined the temperatures of the soils. For the residents, however, the air temperature is of course much more decisive. This is also reduced by the nearby trees – but not nearly as much as the soil temperature. Nevertheless, the residents of Vienna should be happy about the cooling effect of the trees in summer.

Trees are part of a functioning city

Normal green areas without trees can also prevent excessive heat. The effect is only half as high as that of the trees. However, the researchers also found that the effect apparently diminished at extremely high temperatures. It was shown that the trees in southern Europe also provide strong cooling of the soil in spring. In summer, however, the temperature differences are minimal and sometimes only two degrees. Here, too, however, the following applies: the situation would by no means be better without trees. What now emerges from the results of the study? Obviously, trees should be given space in cities. So there is no point in concentrating felled inner-city trees by replanting them on the green meadow. Green spaces and trees should therefore no longer be perceived as an obstacle to construction projects, but as an integral part of a functioning city.

Via: The standard

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